Sunday, July 11, 2010

Spinachers Ride the Heartland Tour

The Heartland Tour made its Halifax stop this past Saturday (July 10th). So the Spinachers Team had to show up and take part. Donning our impressive jerseys we split into 2 groups depending on our ride choice. A 27.5km ride to Purcell's Cove or the mammoth 96km ride from the Halifax Commons to Peggy's Cove. My wife joined in with those opting for the Purcell's Cove ride, partly as 96kms was a crazy distance for her, but also so she could sleep in a bit longer. I opted to join in the longer ride that began at 8am (ish).

We started as a group and headed to the Roundabout to begin our ride. A police escort out of town made life rather easy. Being near the lead I decided to stretch the legs a bit and zoom up the Bay Rd hill leading to the start of the Peggy's Cove Loop. That felt nice and I gave myself an imaginary Polka Dot jersey for my effort (also that was probably the biggest hill on the ride). As a group David's son Jeff and I decided to go for a breakaway lead, the rest of the team (David, Ross and Fred) all kept to the main peleton (or long string of riders as it were). Eventually Jeff and I were riding alone, having dropped our rivals (sure this was a friendly ride, sure) during some rollers. Actually dropping those other riders with us was a mistake as I thought I was supposed to be hammering through those hills. Luckily for me Jeff is a darn strong rider.

Eventually the 2 of us arrived at Peggy's Cove and proceeded to wait for the rest of the Tour riders. Perhaps that was too long of a wait in retrospect, we were there for over 30 minutes in the cold damp fog and occasional drizzle. But we had some food and drink and eventually took off as other riders were starting to leave to head back to Halifax.

I stuck to Jeff on the way back, jumping from one slow group of riders to the next until we met with a good strong lead pack. We hammered with them for quite awhile, eventually though my lack of mileage this year started to catch up. As I dropped from the lead of the pace line I couldn't quite stick to the last rider int he group and fell off, though I was still amazed that I continued riding at 37kph until I eventually caught them as they stopped to let some other riders catch on. My goodness, they were going fast as a group.

At this point as riders took off again we all pretty much fell into smaller groups or single riders as our legs were at various degrees of ouchiness. Mine in particular were running very low on steam. I lost Jeff pretty quickly as he sped away. I kept my speed up but would occasionally be passed by a few riders here or there until I eventually made it back into town and could have a proper rest and some good food provided to us for free. That was nice, especially the crepes and chocolate milk.

Including my ride to the commons to start the event, I logged 107 kms that day. That was nice. I managed a pace of 30.6kph on avg, which included a very slow meander through town to start, so overall I was pretty happy, and really only a few minutes behind the first group to finish.

I was sad that my cadence really dropped near the end and my average was 82. I really hopped to be able to keep that higher, but again my lack of riding any real distance this year hit me hard near the end.

All in all a really great ride, with a lot of Tri NS members taking part, which was great to see.

Hopefully this ride continues next year and grows in size. And a big congrats to my wife for her solo epic adventure to Purcell's Cove. I look forward to longer rides with her int he near future as well.
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